US/World News

Israeli doctors refuse to force feed Palestinian prisoner

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Doctors at an Israeli hospital refused instructions to force feed a Palestinian prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for over 50 days. Following the refusals on August 9, the prisoner, Mohammed Allaan, was moved from Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba to the Barzalai Medical Center in Ashkelon, according to reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that Allaan’s life was “at immediate risk.” Allaan, who has been held in administrative detention without charges since November, also is refusing any form of medical tests. He is the first test of a law passed by the Knesset late last month allowing the force feeding of prisoners. The Israeli Medical Association plans to challenge the law in the Supreme Court and has urged physicians not to comply with it. The Red Cross called on Israel to allow his family to visit him in the hospital. Red Cross delegates and medical staff have visited Allaan frequently in recent weeks to monitor his health and treatment by prison authorities. On August 9, about 180 Palestinian prisoners ended a hunger strike launched the day before to protest their prison conditions, saying that Israeli prison authorities had agreed to some of their demands. The Israel Prison Service has denied that a deal was struck.

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